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Our favorite fitness trackers will help coax you off the couch

The fitness wrist band remains very popular, despite the growing attraction of smartwatches, which can perform many of the same functions, with added convenience and notifications. The reason fitness bands aren’t going anywhere is they’re often well-priced, lighter, more compact, and more focused as a product than even the most basic smartwatch.

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If you’re looking for a wrist band to help motivated you get more exercise, track your calories, or even keep a log of your sleep patterns, then you’ll probably be surprised by the amount of choice out there. We’ve collected seven of our favorite fitness tracking wearables, to help make the buying process a little easier.

The Best

Garmin VivoSmart ($89+)

Garmin VivoSmart

The Garmin Vivosmart Activity Tracker merges activity tracking tools with a long battery life. “Smart Notifications” will display notifications of incoming calls, texts, and emails. Garmin’s premium tracker also records sleep time and a number of activities including swimming. The understated OLED screen will display plenty of data on the face of the bracelet including time, day of the week, date, and common activity tracker metrics like steps taken, distance traveled, calories burned, and steps needed to reach the goal. When paired with optional heart and bicycle sensors, the Vívosmart can also log heart rate and bike speed. And those who own one of Garmin’s VIRB action cameras can use the Vívosmart as a remote control to start and stop recording, or snap a still shot.

Despite all those nifty features, the VivoSmart has the heart and soul of an activity tracker. In seconds, the vivosmart will pair with your phone, or with heart and bicycle sensors and log your info on Garmin Connect. It’ll allow you to set goals and even compete with friends to earn virtual badges. Also included is the move bar alert that will vibe every time you go an hour without walking. Read our full review here.

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The Rest

Pivotal Living Band ($12)


Pivotal Living’s fitness band is one of the cheapest ones you can buy, but it’s also very fully featured. It can track all the same metrics as a Fitbit, including distance, step count, calorie burn, and your sleep quality. The band sports a small screen, so you can check your metrics or see the time. If you’re really dedicated, the companion app can help you track your nutrition and hydration, too. The main difference is that the $12 price tag is actually an annual subscription, but each year you renew your plan, Pivotal Living will send you a new band. Read our full review here.

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Pivotal Living

Runtastic Moment ($130+)

Runtastic Moment

Runtastic is best-known for its amazing running and fitness app, but it’s also made wearables. Now, Runtastic plans to woo fashion-conscious fitness freaks with the gorgeous Moment — an analog watch with a progress bar and LED light that syncs with your phone to give you stats on your activity. It tracks distance travelled, steps taken, calories burned, and sleep. The Moment comes in a variety of styles and sizes to suit every taste, whether you prefer a sporty look, a classic watch, or something funky. The best part? You never have to charge it. Read our hands on review here.

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Jawbone Up4 ($120+)

Jawbone Up4

Jawbone has become one of the better-known companies in fitness tracking, largely due to its Up series of devices. The latest, called the UP4, includes a number of great features. The device tracks all the usual suspects — sleep, heart rate, physical activity, etc. — but it also includes an NFC chip, meaning you can use it for mobile payments. Unfortunately, the mobile payment part of the device currently only works with American Express, but even if you can’t use that feature, the UP4 is still a great device.

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Polar A360 ($160+)

Polar A360

The Polar A360 promises one of the best heart-rate monitors on the market, developed in-house at Polar, which uses optical technology for a highly accurate beats-per-minute count. Rather than being an ugly, medical-grade wearable, the Polar A360 is a good-looking band with a color touchscreen, a waterproof stainless steel body, and colorful interchangeable straps. It’s $200, and works with the company’s own Flow health and fitness management platform. The app provides training advice and guidance, but you can also share your data with your coach.

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